The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council has approved the State of Qatar217;s proposal to establish the Doha Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Doha Search and Rescue Region (SRR), which include Qatar’s sovereign airspace, to improve airspace safety and efficiency. During the Council’s 223rd session, the proposal was approved.
Qatar’s proposal also stated that it intends to withdraw from the current arrangement under which the Kingdom of Bahrain is tasked with providing air navigation services over its sovereign territory in accordance with the provisions of the Chicago Convention.
According to Article (1) of the Chicago Convention and in accordance with General Assembly Resolution, the Council recognized Qatar’s right to request the establishment of the Doha Aeronautical Information Region and the Doha Search and Rescue Region over its sovereign territory and the airspace above it.
Qatar wants to help the region develop safe and sustainable air transport operations.
It should be noted that, after reviewing the technical aspects of the proposal, the Air Navigation Committee confirmed that the State of Qatar possesses the capabilities and ingredients required to manage air traffic in a safe and effective manner, as well as to provide pioneering services in the field of search and rescue.
The ICAO Council requested that the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Qatar, as well as neighboring countries with an interest in this issue, initiate a cooperative dialogue under the auspices of the Council’s Chairman, agree on appropriate technical arrangements for the implementation of the Doha Aeronautical Information Region and the Doha Search and Rescue Region, and present the results.
On June 9, 2021, Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Eng. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transport and Communications in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Salvatore Chachitano, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), held a video call to discuss the technical aspects of Qatar’s proposal.
On June 14, 2021, a meeting of the two countries’ technical committees will take place.
Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti stated in his speech during the 223rd session of the Council’s meetings that Qatar’s proposal is critical to the future of civil aviation not only in the Middle East region but also around the world, and is fully consistent with the Chicago Agreement’s objectives. He went on to say that it expresses the State of Qatar’s sovereign rights and reflects the State’s massive investments in developing its air navigation system for the benefit of the entire region by providing safe, efficient, and smooth navigation services, given the State’s possession of all the ingredients and capabilities required for air traffic management and its readiness to provide distinguishing services.
He emphasized the State of Qatar’s commitment, since its accession to ICAO, to apply the principles of the 1944 Chicago Convention with high professionalism in terms of peaceful use of airspace, freedom of navigation, and air environment protection.